For me, the most obvious area for reform under the Order is in the area of identifying responsible persons. I have no doubt that it is this aspect of the Order, which causes the most confusion, not only to fire officers, but also to those responsible for the safety of their premises.

Presently, article 3 deals with the definition of responsible persons and article 5 deals with ‘persons with control’. Whilst I understand that employers should be distinguished from other responsible persons to ensure compliance and consistency with the Health and Safety at Work Act, the combination of articles 3 (b) (i), and (ii), together with articles 5 (3) and (4) create confusion and the lack of clarity when establishing those against whom enforcement should be taken. As article 5 (3) imposes the same responsibilities laid out in article 3 on those with any control over premises (the extent of their control). I cannot see why article 3 was not made much simpler by replacing article 3 (b) with the contents of articles 5 (3) and (4).

A reform of this nature would ensure that all those with control of premises would be called responsible persons and the confusing aspect of article 3 (B) would be removed. Articles 30, 31 and 32 treat those with control premises in exactly the same way as they treats responsible persons so no further amendments would be required in respect of enforcement issues.